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Trade Show Attempts to Barter Sponsorships For News Coverage

Peter Kafka of AllThingsD is right when he said, “…there really are some sleazy marketers out there, so many that letters like this one, which popped into my inbox this morning, don’t even raise an eyebrow…” He’s referring to an email sent out today to key influencers in the “digital marketing community.” Apparently Kafka is one, and so is PRNewser.

The problem is, the email basically attempts to barter freebies at the trade show in exchange for news coverage of said show. It even includes “suggested postings” such as “why you like ad:tech.” It’s one thing to send this to marketing contacts at companies who may be interested in a sponsorship agreement of some sorts. It’s another to send it to journalists and bloggers who likely would be given free entrance anyway, and then ask them for coverage.

We spoke with the person who sent out the email, and won’t name them here. They did tell us that they work neither for ad:tech, or Edelman – ad:tech’s agency of record last time we checked – but said they are “helping ad:tech with a few specific things.”

We point this out not only because it’s bad practice, but it seems to be on the rise. The number of emails we receive that are similar to this one have been increasing. View the full pitch after the jump.


Hi Joe,

My name is [Redacted] and I’m working with the ad:tech team on the social media outreach and promotion for ad:tech New York. ad:tech recognizes that you are a key influencer in the digital marketing community, and as such, I’d like to see if you are interested in a promotion exchange.

ad:tech will provide:

* Twitter announcement of your involvement with ad:tech New York to our 6,800+ followers.
* Your choice of: a free pass to the exhibit hall (valued at $35) or 35% off a full conference pass.

*If you are already registered or can’t make it to the event, you can offer it as a prize to your network, give it to a friend or client.It is completely transferrable.

We ask you provide:

* No less than 3 posts about ad:tech New York on Twitter, Facebook or your blog. Suggested postings: a session you’re interested in, why you like ad:tech, the exhibitors that you want to see or technologies that you are interested in learning about. What you share is up to you-it just needs to be posted by November 1.

Interested in writing a blog post and would like additional information on ad:tech? Quotes, photos, interviews, ideas, etc. will happily be offered with request.

To redeem the offer:
Share 3 posts about ad:tech, then email me, [X]@ad-tech.com, with links/screenshots by November 1.

* Tell me how you’d like ad:tech to promote your involvement with the event at the show.
* Let me know if you’d like the free expo pass or the 35% discount on the conference.

Please let me know if this is something that you are interested in or if you have any questions?

Thank you for your continued support of ad:tech. I hope to meet you in New York!

[Redacted]
Social Media Outreach
ad:tech

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